NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – The Rutgers University Board of Governors named Dipak K. Sarkar, a distinguished professor in the Department of Animal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, a Board of Governors professor at a Dec. 9 meeting.

The professorship was established in 1989 to recognize exceptional scholarship and accomplishment by a faculty member at the full professorial rank.

Sarkar is also director of the endocrine program at SEBS and director of the biomedical division of Rutgers’ Center of Alcohol Studies. The Indian American’s research focuses on understanding how stress promotes infection, cancers and alcohol-related diseases.

He and his team also evaluate the feasibility of cell therapy, gene therapy and tissue-specific gene targeting procedures to understand and prevent stress-related problems and cancers in normal and alcoholic patients.

The consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is believed to result in a wide range of adverse outcomes for the child that can last a lifetime. Many fetal alcohol syndrome patients have problems coping with stress, learning disabilities, infections and increased susceptibility to diseases, including obesity and diabetes.

He is a recipient of the NIAAA’s prestigious MERIT award (Method to Extend Research in Time), worth $3.5 million in funding over a decade beginning in 2009.

The award supports his continuing research of the damaging effects of alcohol on the nervous systems of the unborn. He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Indian Academy of Neurosciences.

Sarkar, who lives in Skillman, Somerset County, has been at Rutgers since 1999. He has earned doctorates from both Oxford University in the United Kingdom and Calcutta University in India, where he also earned his bachelor of science and master of science degrees.

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